Arise and Build!
The Grand Design: Jefferson's Rotunda
Early Descriptions of the Rotunda and Lawn
Edgar Allan Poe at the University


Edgar Allan Poe at the University

Edgar Allan Poe entered the University of Virginia on February 14, 1826 and in accordance with the elective system inaugurated by Jefferson, made choice of the course of study which most appealed to him--the Schools of Ancient and Modern Languages--Professor Long, for the ancient, and Professor Blaettermann for the modern. Poe was one of 107 students to elect ancient languages, and one of 90 to elect modern. At a Faculty meeting at the end of the session-- December 15, 1826--he was reported by Professor Long among nineteen students who "excelled in senior Latin" and by Professor Blaettermann among eight who "excelled in senior French.

In the letter below, Poe writes from the University to his stepfather, John Allan. Of particular interest to this exhibit are his comments on the Rotunda, beginning on page two of the letter.

The letter on exhibit in "Arise and Build!" was graciously loaned by The Valentine Museum, Richmond, Virginia. The number is taken from Edgar Allan Poe Letters Till Now Unpublished, in the Valentine Museum Richmond, Virginia